Below you’ll find an article written by Ruth Garvey-Williams which first appeared in the Presbyterian Herald last Autumn (used with her permission) – It contains the story of a Student in Dublin who got involved in a very disturbing and destructive group under the guise of “a Bible study group”.

This group turned out to be linked to a “church” in South Korea – Shincheonji (SCJ)- but as you will read in this article – the behaviour displayed by the group is seen by Head of safeguarding in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland as ‘grooming behaviour’

… having worked in the field of exploitation for a lengthy period, I could clearly see all the hallmarks of deliberate grooming behaviour in this practice, including:

  • gaining the trust of a young person by using someone (even vaguely) known to them in order to get them to meet with a ‘harvester’ for the cult;
  • isolating them from their family and friends, so that they cannot be dissuaded to depart from the cult;
  • fulfilling a need by purporting to be able to help them really understand the Bible properly;
  • being controlling, and insisting on attendance at meetings and events, without choice, thereby maintaining control. There is nothing healthy, in a spiritual sense or otherwise, about such tactics to control another human being

The reason for sharing this article is that as Rector I am aware that this group is active in Cork City at the moment and I wanted to bring light to the subject.

There is help, care & support available.

I also want to assure anyone who is concerned about this that I & our staff team are available to discuss any pastoral concerns.

Download as pdf (right click and save target as …)